by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

JACOB'S DREAM (2 of 5)
How God Changed “Jacob” into “Israel”
Tony Nester
GENESIS 28:10-19

Today we're continuing on from last week's story about
Jacob and Esau. These brothers were fraternal twins
who were in conflict with each other from the time
they were in their mother's womb. Esau grew up to be
an outdoorsman who was favored by his father, Isaac.
Jacob was the favorite of his mother, Rebekah, who
liked Jacob's more settled nature.

Last week we looked at the story of how Jacob
persuaded Esau to sell of his birthright. If you read
Genesis, Chapter 27, you'll find the story of how
Jacob then steals away his brother's blessing by
tricking Isaac, blinded in his old age, into thinking
Jacob was really Esau. When Esau discovers this
deception he vows to kill Jacob. Rebekah then
arranges for Jacob to flee from home and travel back
to Haran where her brother Laban lived.

Today we're in Genesis Chapter 28, verses 10-19.
Jacob is on the run and finds himself alone and with
no shelter under the night sky. He makes himself a
simple camp sight, falls asleep, and has a dream from

(Genesis 28:10-11 NRSV) Jacob left Beer-sheba and
went toward Haran. {11} He came to a certain place and
stayed there for the night, because the sun had set.
Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under
his head and lay down in that place.

It was dangerous for travelers to be camp alone as
Jacob did that night. He only did so because he
couldn't find other shelter. Night had fallen on him
and he had no one to take him in.

We tend to think that he put a stone under his head
for a pillow. Quite a few Bible scholars see a
different meaning here. The Hebrew can be translated
to suggest that he put the stone, possibly a large
one, behind his head to protect him from being
attacked from behind.

It all suggests that Jacob was afraid. Was Esau
stalking him for revenge? Were there wild ...

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